In September GSK acquired Novartis's vaccine business. Lines up two vaccine launches for 2016

Glaxo SmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK Pharma) has stepped up its focus on its vaccine business with a price cut in its top selling pneumonia vaccine and has lined up two new product launches for next year. 

GSK Pharma does not participate in government vaccination programmes in India but is a market leader in many vaccine categories in the "self pay" or non government segment with an overall market share of 28 percent. 

In September, GSK Pharma completed the acquisition of vaccine business of Novartis and sale of its oncology business to the Swiss drug major in a global deal. Following the deal GSK Pharma has expanded vaccine portfolio and has absorbed over 120 employees from Novartis to ramp up its sales in India. 

Last week GSK cut the price of its pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Synflorix) by 40 percent to Rs 1,400 per vial with an aim to increase consumer access and widen its market share. Synflorix is used for immunisation of infants and children against diseases including sepis, meningitis and pneumonia. GSK Pharma competes with Pfizer in this vaccine segment. 

Also the company has sought regulatory approval to launch two new pediatric vaccines in India. These vaccines would be launched next year, industry sources said. 

The "self pay" or non government segment for vaccines has industry wide annual sales of Rs 1,500-1,800 crore, according to IMS data.

Industry sources said GSK Pharma's existing vaccines portfolio has a revenue of about Rs 300-350 crore and contributes about 20 percent of its revenue.

"The acquisition of the vaccines business of Novartis provides us with an exciting opportunity to build an even stronger, sustainable global vaccines business. The transaction with Novartis enhances GSK's vaccines portfolio and brings together its expertise in virology, bacterial infection and technological platforms to deliver a reliable supply of high quality vaccines," GSK Pharma spokesperson said.

Its existing portfolio includes vaccines for influenza, chickenpox and hepatitis A and B and will get access to Novartis's vaccine business catering to anti rabies and meningitis vaccine